Friday, 30 August 2013

Dresses to Wear Now and Later in conjunction with House of Fraser

With autumn just around the corner and a chill just working its way into the air, it’s hard not to look ahead to the upcoming season. Layering up cosy cardigans and thick tights with boots is an ideal way to transition your favourite dresses from one season to the next. Having said that, it’s hard to let go of delicate fabrics and pretty prints just yet when there are still so many gorgeous summer dresses around; it’s even harder to ignore the next season of dresses that are steadily popping up in the shops.

Here’s some inspiration from the dresses collection at House of Fraser on dresses to wear now whilst the sun may still be shining, and dresses to wear later when autumn gets into full swing.

Take advantage of the last remaining rays with vintage florals and Oriental inspired prints. Choose a draped front if you’re nervous of any lumps and bumps showing through – you’ll still get definition as this dress hugs the hips. A capped sleeve will see you further into autumn and is great if you want a little more coverage on your upper arm. A V-neck is great for drawing attention upwards and away from the stomach whilst a nipped-in waist highlights a narrow waist if you’re more pear-shaped.

Rich jewel tones are great to transition from autumn to winter. It’s also the perfect time to go for a flattering half-sleeve that smoothes the upper arm. A bat-wing or floaty upper balances a more boyish figure by adding volume up top and slimming the lower half. The skater dress isn’t going anywhere this year and surely suits everyone by drawing in the waist, skimming the hips and lengthening the legs.

What will you be wearing now and later?

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Make a change this September with @Coach_Mainer!

As the amazing Jessie Pavelka event approaches next week at Elite Performance Fitness (pretty damn excited, I'll be honest!) my trainer Chris Main has created an amazing special offer for those of you who want to make a change this September!

I would highly recommend Chris if this is an idea you are toying with, he is professional, able to tailor a fitness programme to fit in with what you like and can do, but also you will have a laugh and achieve good results along the way.

Since starting with Chris in March of this year, I have been delighted with what we have achieved. I have lost inches off my measurements, improved my % body fat, become much fitter and conquered my bootcamp fears.

So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with Chris today and begin your new start September!

Friday, 23 August 2013

@MalibuUK's #Malibutique in Manchester!

What a day!

I received an email about the #Malibutique event last week and immediately threw my holiday request into the ring and RSVP'd a big YES.

Malibu is one of, if not my absolute favourite alcoholic drink and to be invited to a party where I could try Malibu Cocktails, check out ASOS goodies, have my hair done by Toni and Guy and have my nails done courtesy of Nails Inc was up there in terms of #bloggerperks. However you will be pleased to know, this event is not limited to Bloggers only and is open to all!

It was such a fab event and I am so glad I went! We were greeted by the Malibu gang and given drinks tokens to sample some of the Malibu Cocktails that had been mixed up by mixologists from the Slug and Lettuce.

Good lord.

They were so nice and it was a great way to show the versatility of the spirit as I would normally just drink it with diet coke or pineapple juice and now I think I will have to be a bit more adventurous in my drink making!

Conveniently situated next to the cocktails was the Malibu Marshmallows created by Manchester foodie expert Andrew Nutter. They were absolutely divine - quite honestly I would pop down purely to sample that sweet treat as it was incredible!

We were then invited over to the fashionistas from ASOS who lead us around the 4 'look books' they had pulled together including; Bold and Bright, 90's Spirit, Just Feminine and Almost Famous. I was naturally drawn towards the floral girly 'Just Feminine' look but there were gorgeous pieces in each selection. We were also treated to a 20% off discount code which may have to be used on a couple of the items in my saved items bag which seems to grow by the day! Whoops.

Next up I was treated to hair styling by Toni and Guy. I opted for the 'Almost Famous' look which was loose waves with a couple of plaits thrown in to add a bit of a boho vibe to the style. I absolutely LOVED what they did and will definitely be trying to recreate this look at home!

I didn't get my nails done due to time constraints but the lovely ladies from Nails Inc were offering a file and paint and they had some beautiful colours on offer to match up with the 4 style options.

The Malibu #Malibutique is open for visitors between the 23rd and 26th August so if you are in Manchester, head to Exchange Square and check it out!

What a start to my bank holiday fun and frolics?!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

#WeekdayWishlist 24 (A day late..)

All items from River Island
Firstly, sorry that this is late and we are actually on the weekend... but I figured better late than never and there's some goodies in here that may make their way onto your weekend shopping lists!

Blazer: I love how random this blazer is! The print is kinda crazy but paired with a plain outfit, I'm thinking this could look all kinds of cool.

Scarf Print Long Kaftan/Coat/Cardigan: I have no idea what you call these things where it's not really any of the clothing items I have just used to describe it. All I know though is that this one is particularly pretty and would look equally as fab paired with a little dress as it would a long vest and leggings.

Red Maxi Dress: It's probably a long shot to think there will be enough sun to wear a maxi dress again this year but seeing as I am the eternal optimist I will keep my fingers crossed as this is so lovely!

Cut Out BodyCon Dress: Seeing as the training and clean eating continues, paired with some serious sucking in pants, wearing bodycon is now an option! I like how simple this dress is and you could make it look different with each wear.

Wedge Boots: Here is the pessimist in me coming through. We may aswell face it that we are on a long straight road to Autumn and Winter and the best thing about this time of year is... a pair of glorious BOOTS. I think these would look great with black opaques/dress or skirt combo or with leggings. Very versatile but with some gold detailing they could be worn day or night.

Deep Red Necklace Dress: I would have to try this on to see if the ruching did my stomach region any favours.. if so then I heart this dress in a big way!

Emerald and Gold Earrings: My fave colour combo. Enough said really!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Adee Phelan Northern Quarter Launch Party


Last night, as well as the Beauty Event, I also attended the Adee Phelan Salon launch party in the Northern Quarter Manchester. Situated on Hilton Street, the Salon fits in perfectly with it's surroundings and will attract the inhabitants of the uber cool district.
Fronted by Rob Czlapka (who has been hairdressing since the age of 14!!), the salon is extremely uniquely furnished (hello flamingo toilet!) and deliberately shies away from the norms of other hair salons, who can at times be a bit clinical.
Upon first entry, you notice the bright colours and the fact that it is probably one of the least intimidating salons I have been to, there are lots of fantastic feature pieces that make you feel right at home. (I'm thinking specifically of the pug cushion that I really wanted to pinch!)
There is an underground cinema which will showcase old movies from September onwards for clients and movie fans alike.
The celebs all love a party -  this event was no different and attracted a few familiar faces, Brooke Vincent, Chelsee Healey, Marcus Collins and The Apprentice's Francesca MacDuff-Varley attended to show their support for Rob and Adee's new venture.
It was a great event, and it was really nice to see someone so passionate about what they do, succeed, and be able to achieve their aspirations. I am confident that the salon will do really well!
Amongst the most impressed was Adee Phelan who travelled up to Manchester for the launch and his first real glimpse of the latest franchise. He had nothing but praise for Rob and his team:
'Rob's a young lad, it's his first business, he's got some great clients already and we have some familiar famous faces here who have shown their support. I was 29 before I started hairdressing and to get so many people turning out like this when you are starting out is fabulous. Shop looks cool, location is really cool. This is the first salon I've not had an input in but I'm proud of it.'
For hair and booking enquiries contact 0161 222 0200 or visit

#MidSummerMeet with LookFantastic, MyBag and AllSole

Last night I event hopped my way about town and attended the Look Fantastic, All Sole and My Bag #MidSummerMeet event at Walrus in the Northern Quarter.

Having hyped up this event perfectly with some teaser tweets and instagram piccies, I was pretty excited to head to the event and talk all things beauty and accessories with some of my favourite brands, and let me tell you, I was NOT disappointed!

We were welcomed by the lovely event organisers and whisked downstairs to the private event area at Walrus, treated to a beverage of our choice, and cupcakes and cakepops were on hand to keep the hunger pangs at bay.

We were able to mingle and chat to the other bloggers and brands, some of which had a stand to talk through their products. Benefit Cosmetics, Moroccan Oil, L'Oreal Professional, Evo and Nails Inc were all on hand to chat to us and demonstrate their wares, and were very lucky to be able to take away some goodies to try - I can't wait to give them a whirl!

There were also some gorgeous accessories on show from brands such as Cambridge Satchel, Jeffrey Campbell, Melissa Shoes, Anna Lou Jewellery and Gina Stewart Cox bracelets.

It really was a fab event and I am really looking forward to review the products I was given to try and tell you all about them! Thanks again to Look Fantastic, All Sole and My Bag!

When I was looking at the websites to get the links for the blog, I stumbled across this beauty from Markberg Graziella! WANT!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Life after the #myfirstbikini Challenge..

Something to think about?
Losing weight is one of those things that everyone comments on with their wise words and what they have found to work but that is actually an incredibly personal experience.

No one can tell you to lose weight, you ultimately have to make the decision yourself or it just won't work, you will get tired of it and the fact that it can be ruddy difficult can be too much for some people if they are not in the right frame of mind. Take me for example, I have tried to lose weight in the past but it's just been the wrong time, I have not dedicated myself to it and I haven't enjoyed it so it's always been a bit of a half hearted attempt.

I challenged myself earlier this year to get to a stage where I felt okay about putting a bikini on and I wore said bikini in July.. I am by no means where I want to be fitness or weight wise but after that all finished it got me thinking about 'what next?'

I personally find goal setting really hard. I just don't know what I am aiming for, other than the fact I want to be smaller and this can be a bit of a pain when trying to set goals and objectives!

So what now? I have decided that I don't necessarily need a goal, other than I want to get to a certain dress size and then reassess, you don't necessarily have to have huge goals that feel like they are not achievable and I personally find that smaller ones work better for me. It is my aim to get there by Christmas and this is how I am going to go about it;
  1. Continue to document my journey on here as I figure that this is my site where I can refer back to it, keep motivated, be answerable to my claims and if this helps anyone else then that is fantastic!
  2. Stick with the clean eating. Don't get me wrong, I'd say I am well behaved for the majority of the time but life is too short to not have a cheat every so often!
  3. Personal Training will also continue and Chris can help me tailor my workouts as my strength and fitness (hopefully) improves! Plus Chris measures me and can give me hard evidence of how I am doing either way..
  4. Bootcamps - I genuinely never ever ever thought I would enjoy a circuits session/bootcamp as I can be like a petulant child if I don't want to do something. What I love about the circuits at Elite Performance Fitness however, is that you go at your own pace. It is equally as hard for everyone and like with one of my pictures above - 'it doesn't get easier you just get better at it' and I think that has been the turning point for me in terms of feeling comfortable to go to the class. Newbies - definitely come along and try it! The classes run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays so just give it a go, there are lots of friendly faces and a lot of us go to the classes week on week.
  5. Gym it, alone. Eek. I feel like I am ready for this now. I have literally had to take exercising back to basics to learn how to do it properly rather than sitting on a bike for half an hour and thinking yep that's fine! Chris is going to help me with a programme that will complement my PT sessions with him and will hopefully mean I make quicker progress.
In terms of my weightloss journey, I definitely think I have made my first pit stop and I have certainly not reached my destination, but I am ready to continue and take it as far as I can. Without sounding like the gym's very own fan club.. party of one (I must add that this is my genuine opinion and I pay for my sessions like everyone else!), I think Elite is the best thing that has happened to me this year without a doubt.

The support I get from not just Chris, but everyone who works there, is really incredible and I think that has been the most important thing about feeling as though I can succeed at this because I am not doing it alone.

All of the trainers at Elite genuinely care about how you are getting on and that for me makes a complete change from the gym I used to be a member of. Your personal aims become the aims of the trainers and they make it as much their mission to help you get there as you do yourself!

What kind of posts do you want to see about my experiences? Leave your comments below or tweet me!

Review: Sleek Blush

Sleek Blush in Pixie Pink
I have several staple items that I don't tend to venture away from, and my blush is *normally* one of those things. As an aficionado of MAC's Pinch o Peach Blush, I usually just repeat buy it without much thought for other brands who may also create the perfect pink flush.

Zoe from Zoella featured Sleek blushes in a recent haul video and talked about how she felt they were a really good dupe for Nars Blushes, so when I was next in the vicinity of a Superdrug I picked up a Sleek Blush in Pixie Pink and I am literally hooked! For a bargainous £4.49 I think these blushes are incredible. They are fantastically pigmented and it just goes to show you don't have to spend alot to get good quality products.

I love this. I mean really love it. Packaging wise it is better than MAC as it has a mirror within the compact and it applies like a dream and is a fraction of the price! I would definitely recommend them and I have it on good authority that the shade Rose Gold is practically identical to the popular Nars Shade Orgasm (which sadly just does not suit me!) Go and try them, I promise you will not be disappointed! :)
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